Object #1010169 from MS-Papers-0032-0038
From: Native Minister - Native Reserves Act, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0038 (47 digitised items). No Item Description
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Notes on Mr. Travers' Bill.
Section 3. Why not fix the day for the Act coming into operation, in the Act itself.
Section 6. clause 10.
For "during the twelve calendar months", it is proposed to substitute "during the whole time which has elapsed since his last account was rendered."
Section 13. There is no need to reserve to the Assembly, a power which if undoubtedly possesses; while there is this objection to such a reservation, namely, that it would be likely to convey an idea to the natives that there was an intention, on the part of the Government, to alter the trust. For this reason we should prefer some form to the same effect as that of Section 12 in our draft Bill sections 17 and 19. It is recommended to combine these two sections into one, striking out, in Section 17, all words after the word "but" in the 5th. line, and in Section 19, the words from its commencement to the and of the third line, and inserting in place thereof the following words "subject in both cases to the following provisions, that is to say:-
(a.) That there shall not be in any lease any covenant or engagement for renewal." The subsections marked (a) to (e) in Section 19, will then have to be marked (b) to (f), Sections 20 and 21. The plan proposed in your Bill, of transferring the power of making regulations, in matters of a very important kind, from the Assembly to the Governor in Council, is obviously open to much question, more particularly in an Act of this sort, of which the substance ought to be put before the natives in their own language, as has been done lately
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in several cases, by the Native Minister, in order that they may know what it is proposed to do with property specially appropriated for their benefit.
We especially regret the abandonment of Sections 13 and 14 of our draft Bill. The case stands thus. The Natives have, from time to time, on the sale of land to the Government, reserved land for the benefit of all the sellers, the beneficial objects of such reserved lands not having been determined at the time.
What we proposed was that the Legislature should prescribe certain objects clearly seen to be beneficial, and that within those limits, the natives should have a voice in the selection. If that were so, the Natives would recognise the law as beneficial; and would feel themselves to be parties to its administration. This would be, in fact, another application of the principle which is now applied with a result admitted on all hands to be beneficial, - I mean - the introduction of a Native element amongst Members of the House of Assembly.
On the plea proposed in clauses 20, and 21, of your draft Bill, the natives may be left in entire ignorance. They know there are Native Reserves. They have been often told that they will receive benefit from them; but - practically they will be unable to connect any benefits they may receive with those reserves as the source. Just consider how unsatisfactory such a mode would be among ourselves, particularly in the case of the less educated classes. An opening would be left for misrepresentation and suspicion.
We regard Sections 13 and 14 of our draft as tending to generate confidence, and thereby to strengthen the Government and pacify the Country.
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Section 24. The preamble and marginal abstract specify the object to which the 10 per cent is to be applied; but the language of the enactment itself is vague. Why not substitute, for the concluding words, the following:- "The amount so set apart shall be applied for and towards defraying the costs of management and administration of such Native Reserves", or some definite words to the like effect.
Section 29. clause 4. After "made" insert "and published in the Government Gazette as aforesaid."
Sections 34 and 40. It seems better to rest on the general Law of procedure, if there be no strong reason to the contrary. The multiplication of separate rules of procedure, varying in minute particulars, has become, as we know, a great evil in our English Law. The special protection to Justices of the Peace who serve the Public without pay, may be defended and safely applied in like cases. To the reasonable limitations in Sections 32 and 33 - 36, I should be inclined to make an addition by inserting in line 1 of Section 36, after the word "in" the words "any District Court or in" We should then be rid of the allowance of a very objectionable proposal in Section 35, as to the proceedings in any District Court. Indeed with a view to a sound state of the law in the Colony. I should be glad to see Sections 34 and 35 and 37 - 40 omitted, thinking that the existing rules of procedure in the Supreme Court are sufficient.
Native Minister - Native Reserves Act, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0038 (47 digitised items)
Series 7 Official papers, Reference Number Series 7 Official papers (3737 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)
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